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Go out with you? Why not... Do I like to dance? Of course! Take a walk along the beach tonight? I'd love to. But don't try to touch me. Don't try to touch me. Because that will never happen again. "Past, Present and Future"-The Shangri-Las

Friday, September 11, 2009

In The Realm

As you probably know, there's a Dungeons and Dragons movie. And it's a stinker. My D&D-playing friends and I had a good time heckling it, but that's about all it's good for. How then should a proper D&D movie be made?

I shall tell you, for the answer lies within me.

Firstly, when I think back on the old Dungeons and Dragon books I used to pour over, I can't help thinking about the shops and streets and overpasses of Chattanooga, Tn. and the hiking trails of Signal Mountain. That's where I lived and engaged D&D. So to capture the sensation of Dungeons and Dragons as I experienced it, my D&D film would be shot Alphaville-style in Chattanooga.

Alphaville was a science-fiction movie by arthouse legend Jean-Luc Godard. He shot it in 60s Paris, and made no effort to disguise the fact, even though the story took place on exotic alien planets. The conceit of the film is that no elaborate sci-fi set or camera trick could possibly create a setting more alien and peculiar than a hotel lobby or office building, so why not film in a hotel lobby or office building and pass it off as an alien planet? I propose taking the same approach to Chattanooga, which is more fantastic than any Frazetta painting if approached with photographic imagination.

The film's narrative should be loosely adapted from the B series of Dungeons and Dragon modules. The central characters should be the main characters from the old D&D Saturday Morning cartoon. They should be played by game-shop nerds with no particular acting ability or resemblance to the cartoon characters. The script should be written by a few Infocom game designers and should focus more on the red herrings, dead ends and pointless whimsies that characterize old D&D modules than on any sense of narrative momentum. The monsters should be designed by Erol Otus and realized with stop-motion animation overseen by Rick Trembles. It should be directed by a drunken Tobe Hooper, whose blend of weird dry humor, grotesquerie, uneven craft and occasional shamanism make him the ideal stand-in for the game's traditional Dungeon Master. Closing credits music by Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe.

Obviously this movie will make cash by the tankerful, so the sequel should be an absurdly faithful adaptation of Ravenloft. The main vampire should be played by the Chattanooga community theatre hambone who played every role with the same exaggeratedly effeminate elocutionary style regardless of the part. Castle Ravenloft should be portrayed by Signal Mountain Presbyterian Church, one of the key locations in my life for good and ill. The film should be scripted and directed by Raul Ruiz. The protagonists should be the characters from Snarfquest. Production design by Larry "Snarfquest" Elmore and Damien Hirst. Music by the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Closing credit song by The Egyptian Lover.


CRwM said...

Do the Gamma World movie next.

Aaron White said...

I only played Gamma a couple times, but once on a camping trip with a copy of Best of Dragon Magazine Vol. 1 I dreamed up a Metamorphosis Alpha narrative that involved strange creatures coming out of my family's tent and... well, just more and more phantasmagoric creatures stepping out of the tent, like it was a clown car for unlikely mutants. Narrative has never been my strong suit.